I rarely use the “M” word because I’m not an industrial hygienist or a laboratory. However, mold is commonly talked about in the real estate world and is everywhere – that simple fact doesn’t take away from the seriousness of it. A mold infestation or contamination can be extremely damaging to a property and to investment property managers. Not only does mold put your tenants/residents at risk, but you and the property owner may have to spend a significant amount of time and money to properly mitigate the environmental condition and make the rental unit a safe and comfortable place to live. Moreover, mold creates a significant stigma on a property which most certainly attaches and affects value and desirability. In addition to educating yourself about mold, one of the best things you can do is focus on the common areas (bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms) where mold grows and do your best to prevent it by keeping these rooms, walls, ceilings as dry as possible. However, if mold/mildew growth is already there, it’s time to take care of it before the issue becomes more serious. Remember, a property manager and/or landlord’s primary duty is to provide a habitable rental unit – a unit with mold is not habitable.
After performing a comprehensive and exhaustive analysis and identifying realty as your next investment, one of the most important tasks real property investors can do before pursuing an investment strategy is to determine the risks associated with it. It’s virtually impossible to completely avoid risks so the more you can understand about your investment by conducting due diligence, the more you learn about your risk strategy and mitigation options, the better your chances will be of making a successful and profitable investment. Doing homework, asking many questions, and performing comprehensive investigations are just some of the things that needs to be done before you pull the trigger. Just winging it is not a strategy.
Due to external factors such as significant capital gains tax exposure many people are choosing to rent out their homes versus selling. The more forwarding-thinking people are employing a strategy where they rent their property for two years or so, then sell their property (maintaining their IRC 121 & 1031 benefits) and exchange into another more potent cash cow. After all, in California a real property sale can trigger a 38% tax hit the following April due to capital gains issues – assuming one’s gains are greater than the IRC 121 exemption of $250,000 for a single person or $500,000 for married couples. Thus, many people are renting by themselves or through a property management company to preserve their tax efficient options. Below is a quick hit list of easy and inexpensive design ideas which may help you separate yourself from your competitors who have also listed their homes on the rental market. Importantly these improvements and/or expenses are either tax deductible against rental income or depreciable.
The pleasantly quirky Slater neighborhood was built in the middle 1950s and is known for its diverse residential makeup and unique and varied architectural styles. When you live in Slater, your neighbors will be Google execs, young families and retirees who are the original owners of their homes. As you stroll along the wide, tree-lined streets, you will pass brick duplexes decorated with wagon wheels and charming bungalows reminiscent of farm houses. If you are looking for a distinctive non-cookie cutter community that is minutes from downtown, make sure to consider investing in Slater real estate.
With today’s ever-changing IT environment of ransomware and viruses, of security breaches and ever-increasing threats to your personal and business data, it is more important than ever to have a professional and reliable data backup system in place. However, it is no longer good enough to just have a local backup solution that copies all your data to a hard drive connected to your computer. Ransomware will, during infection, not only encrypt your data but any drive connected to that computer. It will also try to infect any network shares on your local network. Another problem with a local backup is preparing for disaster recovery. As we have seen very recently with the fires in Marin, everything can be destroyed, including your backups if they are kept in the same building as your computers.
The neighborhood social media site NextDoor and other neighborhood bulletin board sites are constantly bombarded with the question “Can someone please refer a Quality Residential Cleaning Service.” The fact of the matter is most cleaning services are mismanaged and don’t have employees who are properly trained or supervised. Even though a company or cleaner may start out doing a good job, inevitably there will come a time when the company disappoints for several reasons. Searching high and low for several years we used many different services but did not settle on one company until we met Maria Flores of High Quality House Cleaning, LLC in Sunnyvale, CA. Silicon Valley Property Management Group now uses HQHC exclusively and couldn’t be happier. In fact, in addition to being a great company HQHC is a Santa Clara County Certified Green Cleaning Company, and they are also a fully sanctioned Woman Owned Minority Business.
Silicon Valley Life in Sylvan Dale – Mountain View can be summed up in one word: community. With neighbors who truly enjoy the area where thelive and the people surrounding them, Sylvan Dale’s beauty is more than just street-lined aesthetics. It goes much deeper and wider. Located a short walk from the World Headquarters of Google (Alphabet), in the Heart of Silicon Valley and right down the street from world famous Stanford University this neighborhood is screaming out your name for settling down or investment.
Having a large park and playground where the children gather for soccer and tennis helps the residents feel connected to each other. The area offers plenty of green space, including Sylvan Park in the middle of it all. Moreover, once an agricultural landscape the post World War II housing development was well designed and orchestrate making Sylvan Dale a desirable neighborhood.
Although most people take electricity and electrical systems in rental properties for granted it is important to understand the basics of these items and operations. We open our garages with automatic openers, we flip on the light switch, we click the television remote, and we expect our food and drinks to be cold each and every time we open the refrigerator. All of these things we expect to be functioning each time we ask for it, but what is behind the scenes is important to understand.
Anyone taking their first drive through Stierlin Estates Mountain View will often take it slow, not just for the quaint neighborhood view, but because they have no choice. The sleepy neighborhood of Stierlin Estates was designed with a zig-zag road pattern, which helps keep drivers with a heavy foot in check. Ask the residents about their quiet little corner of Mountain View and they’ll tell you they like it that way. Beyond creating a traffic calming road network, you can’t actually drive “through” the area. The roads loop around with no direct access from one highway to another. This all but eliminates commuters driving through the neighborhood.
Location, location, location … That’s the first thing that draws many residents to Rex Manor, a small 74-acre Mountain Shadows suburb north of Central Expressway, east of Monta Loma and west of North Whisman. Most residents find Rex Manor is a 15-minute walk from work, school, dining, shopping, entertainment and everything else they could want. When they move into the neighborhood, they discover it’s not only conveniently located, but it’s also charming, serene and friendly. Minutes from Google, Highway 101, Stanford University, San Francisco, San Jose, and Silicon Valley, this desirable neighborhood is providing a robust realty springboard for investors and homeowners alike.